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Things to do in London this weekend

Get merry this weekend with the best festivities happening in London on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

By Time Out London Things To Do, Alexandra Sims, Angela Hui and Charlie Allenby |
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Winter Wonderland
Photograph: IMG Winter Wonderland

It’s official: we’ve entered Christmas month. December means Christmas lights, twinkling trees and glistening ice rinks. For proper festive feels make a beeline for Enchanted Eltham Palace, Doggy Christmas Jumper Day and Somerset House’s Skate All-Nighter. Your seasonal lowdown starts here.

RECOMMENDED: Find more things to do in London this Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

What’s on this weekend?

The Nomad Cinema Festive Igloo
Photograph: The Nomad Cinema
Things to do, Film events

The Nomad Cinema Festive Igloo

CityPoint, Moorgate

What is it? 
A giant pop-up cinema in an igloo.

Why go? 
To enjoy the novelty of watching a film in a cosy dome and get that fuzzy feeling knowing that all proceeds got to charity.

The one thing you should know? 
This weekend’s screenings include ‘Purple Rain’ and ‘Amazing Grace’.

Photograph: IMG
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

Winter Wonderland, Hyde Park

What is it? 
A mecca dedicated to all things Christmas.

Why go? 
To ride the rollercoasters, gawp at the parades and whizz down an ice slide.

The one thing you should know? 
In Santa Land, kids can meet the S-man in his grotto for free, on a first come, first served basis. 

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Photograph: The Great Christmas Pudding Race
Things to do, Quirky events

The Great Christmas Pudding Race

Covent Garden Piazza, Covent Garden

What is it? 
A Christmas charity race where runners try to navigate a foam slalom and various inflatable hazards while balancing plates of Christmas pud. 

Why go? 
To laugh and point.

The one thing you should know? 
It’s all for a good cause and that’s the spirit of Christmas, right?

© Duffy Archive
Museums

Show of the Week: ‘Cars: Accelerating the Modern World’

V&A, South Kensington
4 out of 5 stars

What is it? 
A supercharged journey through the history (and future) of automobiles.

Why go? 
To see all types of special cars. From the Latino low-riders of LA to Hitler’s pet project, an olive VW Beetle. It’s going to be a great ride.

The one thing you should know? 
There’s a driverless, electric car that somehow flies.

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Enchanted
Photograph: Christopher Ison
Things to do, Walks and tours

Enchanted Eltham Palace

Eltham Palace, Eltham

What is it? 
A south London fancy art deco mansion bathed in Christmas illuminations

Why go? 
To walk down a mirrorball alley, get lost in a maze of light and see fountains in the ancient moat lit up in colourful hues.

The one thing you should know? 
You’ll get the chance to warm up with a post-walk mince pie and mulled wine.

Round Chapel Clapton
© Scott Wishart
Things to do, Food and drink events

The Pig’s Ear Beer and Cider Festival

Round Chapel, Clapton

What is it? 
A boozefest that showcases more than 200 barrels of delicious ales and apple brews. 

Why go? 
To sample suds from all over.

The one thing you should know? 
There’ll be plenty of hot dogs on offer to soak up all that alcohol.  

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snowman
Photograph: ‘The Snowman’
Things to do, Film events

‘The Snowman’: late-night screening

Walthamstow Assembly Hall, Walthamstow

What is it? 
An adults-only showing of Raymond Briggs’s Christmas classic.

Why go? 
To settle down in the beautiful Walthamstow Assembly Hall and listen to a live score from East London Brass.

The one thing you should know? 
Be prepared for that tearjerker of an ending.

Photograph: I Need to Cher
Things to do, Performances

Chermas

Old Nun's Head, Nunhead

What is it? 
A Cher appreciation night with a festive makeover.

Why go? 
To see an evening full of drag, comedy, lip-syncing, feminist performance art and burlesque, culminating in a Cher disco.

The one thing you should know? 
There’ll also be a 75-slide presentation about Cher’s life, obvs.  

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Photograph: Flavio Matani
Things to do, Markets and fairs

The Alternative Bring and Buy Sale

The Dome, Tufnell Park

What is it? 
An alternative market stocking all things goth, metal and punk.

Why go? 
To rummage through tons of unusual jumble.

The one thing you should know? 
There’ll be a bar with DJs spinning a soundtrack to your Sunday afternoon.

'Sh!t Actually' at Camden People's Theatre
Photograph: Lizzie Coombes
Theatre, Comedy

Show of the Week: ‘Sh!t Actually’

Camden People's Theatre, Euston

What is it? 
A new two-woman show that remakes the Christmas film we all hate to love, ‘Love Actually’.

Why go? 
To laugh like you’ve never before.

The one thing you should know? 
Book ten tickets or more at the same time and get a free bottle of prosecco.

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Skate at Somerset House, ice rink
Photograph: Skate
Things to do, Ice skating

Skate All-Nighter

Somerset House, Aldwych

What is it? 
An after-hours skating session on Somerset House's beautiful rink.

Why go? 
To practise your triple axels between 11pm and 8am.

The one thing you should know? 
Ticket price includes access to the venue's ‘24/7’ exhibition.

taproom se8
Photograph: Deptford Festive Knees Up
Things to do, Food and drink events

Deptford Festive Knees Up

Taproom SE8, Deptford

What is it? 
Deptford Market Yard’s pub Taproom SE8 will host breweries, street food stalls and music. 

Why go? 
To eat, drink and be merry.

The one thing you should know? 
Dig deep! The event is raising money for local charity 999 Club.

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My Brilliant Friend, National Theatre, 2019
Photograph: Marc Brenner
Theatre, Drama

‘My Brilliant Friend’

National Theatre, South Bank
4 out of 5 stars

What is it? 
An epic two-part stage adaptation of Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.

Why go? 
To see Catherine McCormack’s ferociously brilliant turn as Lila.

The one thing you should know? 
You’re guaranteed one helluva story.

Photograph: Doggy Christmas Jumper Day
Things to do, Quirky events

Doggy Christmas Jumper Day

Battersea Park, Battersea

What is it? 
A world-record attempt for the biggest gathering of dogs and people in Christmas knitwear. 

Why go? 
To be overloaded with cuteness.

The one thing you should know? 
You’ll need to register here to save your place.

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'Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out'
Photograph: 'Cinderella: A Wicked Mother of a Night Out'
Theatre, Interactive

‘Cinderella’

The Vaults, Waterloo

What is it? 
A quality panto that’s a cut above the average ‘he’s behind you’ lol fest.

Why go? 
For a woke panto (that’s also sweet and funny).

The one thing you should know? 
There’ll be plenty of raucous belly laughs.

Photograph: Alfredo Jaar 'Six Seconds' (2000) © the artist. Image courtesy of Goodman Gallery
Art

‘Alfredo Jaar: 25 Years Later’

Goodman Gallery, Mayfair
4 out of 5 stars

What is it? 
An exhibition marking the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Rwandan genocide.

Why go? 
To see Jaar’s important work especially when everyone else looked away.

The one thing you should know? 
You can expect to see some horrifying, but unbelievably powerful images.

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Photograph: Sample Market
Things to do, Markets and fairs

Sample Christmas Market

Greenwich Peninsula, Greenwich

What is it? 
A brand-new village fête, with a London twist, by the river.

Why go? 
For an all-singing, all-dancing Christmas extravaganza complete with designers, craft makers and seasonal food stallholders.

The one thing you should know? 
There’ll be plenty of festive workshops to get stuck into.

London Santa Dash for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity
Photograph: Ash Knotek
Things to do, Sport events

London Santa Dash

Brockwell Park, Herne Hill

What is it? 
A fun fun for people dressed as Santa raising money for Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital.

Why go? 
To run like the wind, listen to carols, munch free mince pies and earn that much-coveted Santa Run medal.

The one thing you should know? 
There’s no deadline to sign up for a 5km or 10km race.

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<meta charset="utf-8" /><p><span>Laura Elphinstone (White Witch) and John Leader (Edmund)</span></p>
Photograph: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg
Theatre, Children's

‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’

Bridge Theatre, Tower Bridge
4 out of 5 stars

What is it? 
A new stage adaptation of CS Lewis’s seminal fantasy novel.

Why go? 
For the trippy lion and the terrifying witch.

The one thing you should know? 
This version of Narnia is a wilderness of pure imagination, unshackled, ecstatic and pagan.

Photograph: St James’s Market
Things to do, Markets and fairs

St James’s Christmas Market

St. James's Market, St James’s

What is it? 
A Christmas bazaarshowcasing brands from the area.

Why go? 
To wander around the colourful stalls and hunt down hand-crafted goods while humming along to live Christmas carols.

The one thing you should know? 
There’ll be loads of delicious artisanal food and drink – come hungry.

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Photograph: David Bomberg 'In the Hold' (about 1913-14) Presented by the Friends of the Tate Gallery, 1967 © Tate
Art

‘Young Bomberg and the Old Masters’

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square
4 out of 5 stars

What is it? 
A small exhibition of big energy, big vision and big paintings.

Why go? 
Because British artist David Bomberg deserves more love than he currently gets. 

The one thing you should know? 
This miniature exhibition makes a massive case for the importance of free access to great art.

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